Here Are Some Tips For Homeschool During Coronavirus. Thanks to COVID, we all know how challenging Lockdown can be for both kids and parents in general, let alone with the increased pressure of home-schooling on top. Creating the perfect home-school environment, whilst juggling all other parental responsibilities has proven to be increasingly difficult, especially if you have more than one child or work from home simultaneously. I have collected a few tips and tricks from my research to help reduce tears at the dinner table.
Here Are Some Tips For Homeschool During Coronavirus
Structure and Routine
Treat five days of the week like that of a typical school week leave the weekends for the lie-ins and late nights. Get your kids into the habit of waking up at the same time each morning and going to sleep at the same time each night. Try to reduce the amount of the iPad, Television or Videogames in the evening and instead encourage your children to read, draw or listen to music. Most professionals recommend at least an hour of no screen time before bed. This will help reduce the grogginess and irritability when it comes to morning activities.
Split the day in two. Categorize your child’s assigned subjects into ‘Morning’ and ‘Afternoon’. Have the Morning activities be the core subjects, e.g., Maths and English and the Afternoon activities be the ‘fun’ ones like baking, science experiments, and physical activities. This structure is like that of a primary school and allows your child to unwind after what can be a stressful morning in Homeschool During Coronavirus. Remember to not force anything; everything is a matter of trial and error. If you find it is better to do the core subjects in the afternoon rather than the morning then great, or if you think your child deserves a day off on a weekday that is okay also. Going with the flow and letting things go can decrease burnout for both the child and the parent, so take it easy.
Learning tip: Hourly learning sessions, not working? Try learning in short fifteen-minute bursts throughout the day.
Apps, Resources and Websites
Textbook learning not going well? It’s 2021, why not incorporate technology! These are the top-rated learning websites for children at home in the UK. Tips For Homeschool During Coronavirus Some are even offering free memberships because of the pandemic.
- PhonicsPlay – Suitable for ages 4 and over. Free Membership login for the duration of the January lockdown.
- Mathletics / Spelldrome – 48-hour free trial teaching Maths and English to all ages including secondary schools.
- Epic! (available on both Android and Apple Appstore) – Reading app for children ages 2 – 12 with a library of 35,000 books! It comes with a month-long free trial.
- Quick Math Jr – (App) Free. Suitable for ages 4 – 8. Quick Math Jr. is an app for kids with 12 different math games that feature fundamental math skills and concepts. It has unique graphics and buildable characters to keep kids engaged, and all answers are handwritten or drawn on the screen so kids can also practice handwriting.
Disclaimer: with technology comes the risk of unwanted visitors and payments. Be sure before visiting these websites or downloading these apps you have parental controls on to ensure no harmdoing.
According to the NHS and GOV.UK both children and young people should be exercising at least 60 minutes per day’, the benefits of regular exercise include stronger coordination skills, better mental health, a good night’s sleep, and most importantly aids learning and concentration. It was so easy, before, right? With the help of break time, P.E classes and extracurricular activities exercise was a literal given whilst your child was attending school. Now with governments’ advice of only one hour of exercising publicly per day, with limited things to do apart from walking, how does one ensure their child is receiving all they need?
My first piece of advice would be to try and make the work as physical as possible. If you have a garden move the work outside for fresh air, if a lot of your home-schooling is spent sat at the desk or dinner table try and mix it up e.g., stay sat down for the academic subjects but encourage your child to stand up during more creative activities like painting. My next would be to remind yourself of the huge variety of physical activities you can do at home. A personal favorite in my household currently is a jump rope and Wii Just Dance. The jump rope community on social media is FANTASTIC for showing both kids and adults alike amazing rope and dance routines all whilst giving you a great, cardio full-body workout. Tips For Homeschool During Coronavirus and Once you have looked at the sheer scale of exercises you and your little one can do, choose three and mix them up with your walking routines to decrease lack of motivation.
My final recommendation would be to YOUTUBE, YOUTUBE, YOUTUBE. We all know the power of a certain Mr Joe Wicks, and YouTube hosts a plethora of brilliant channels like his on there. Adding onto my earlier recommendation, if you are interested in Just Dance but do not own a games console, there are many re – upload channels that include all the Just Dance routines featured on the Wii / Switch consoles. Try Bony M’s Rasputin if you really want to push the boat out.
Fun Fact: According to the British Journal of Psychology, scientists concluded that exercising before studying helps improve focus whereas exercising after helps improve memory. Try to plan exercise around your child’s home-schooling for the best cognitive results.
Remember, school is just as crucial for your child’s social growth as it is academic. The perks of a school environment enable kids to quickly destress from challenging subjects with their friends at break time and lunch. Their learning experience in the classroom is often shared with peers which helps reduce the burden of complex maths equations and joined-up handwriting.
Now, where is COVID-19 is concerned, connections can only be maintained virtually. However, if you aren’t exactly a wizard with programmes such as Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, maintaining these connections can prove to be quite tricky. Despite technical difficulties, do ensure your child is having regular contact with their peers. Adding it into their learning timetable/routine will help your child socialise and motivate them through lockdown and learning. Make this beneficial for yourself too, talk to other parents and speak openly about your experiences. A wise man once said ‘an issue shared is an issue halved’ so take this opportunity to seek comfort and advice from others in the same boat, you will probably find they are having the same issues as you are.
Condense the number of peers on a platform at once. Select groups of up to 6 people to ensure your child does not get overshadowed, shy, or intimidated by the number of things going on. I recommend switching up the platforms now and again just so each socialization does not get the same. Try out online games they can play together with such as ‘Among Us’, ‘Draw with Friends’ and ‘Houseparty’. To make your zoom sessions even more fun, get your child and their friends to choose a fancy dress theme each week such as ‘Crazy Hair’ or ‘Favourite Character’, this will serve as an immediate icebreaker to your child’s zoom call and have them looking forward to what the theme is each week.
Safeguarding Disclaimer: Programmes such as Draw with Friends and Among Us do have ‘public’ options where you can play with strangers. Before hosting a game night, ensure you have played the game yourself before letting your do child do so, and double-check that your child is hosting a ‘private’ session. Among Us requires four or more people to play, so it can be very tempting for children to switch their settings to ‘public’ to meet the required amount.
Finally, let’s talk about positive reinforcement. No matter how old you are, everyone loves praise and incentives when it comes to hard work. Whether it is allowing your child one sweet or two after reading a couple of pages or setting up a rewards chart, all forms of positive reinforcement are encouraged to help motivate and focus your child. First, decide whether your rewards scheme is long term or short? Are you going to have a build-up of points that your child can save and spend later in the week or reward them immediately?
One of the long-term reward scheme perks is that the reward can be taken away as easily as earned. Children are used to this method in a typical school environment where they can earn certificates, house points, etc. for good behaviour or lose them for bad. Short term rewards can come in the forms of extended breaks, days off and food incentives. A popular method is to have a ‘treats box’, find an old cake tin or storage container, fill it up with mini toys, tokens, and sweets if your child has done exceptionally well that lesson allow them to choose whatever they want from the tin. Amazon is a handy website for finding mini toys and multipack sweets at a low price, don’t feel like you need to splash out; the gesture of appreciation is more than enough. Kids are very easily impressed.
Lastly, a Positive attitude is just as important as positive reinforcement. Children tend to mirror their parents. As much as it is tempting to air your frustrations about the home-schooling environment, try to remain optimistic. If you make it known that this is just as much a hassle for you as it is for them, they will view the situation just as severely. See every lesson as a new slate, if you find yourself or your child getting overly temperamental about the task ahead, take a break, allow emotional space, and approach it from a different angle moving forward.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and learning is not linear. Remember that we are in unprecedented times and everyone is trying their best. Be realistic, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and know that each day’s a matter of trial and error. Take this as an opportunity to truly get to know your children and make the most of it.
Have fun and stay safe 🙂